David Coulthard has backed his countryman Paul di Resta as the ideal replacement for Michael Schumacher.
Recent reports have suggested Coulthard's former rival Schumacher, who races for Mercedes, could return to retirement next year after a disappointing two-season formula one comeback.
Scot di Resta, currently a race rookie for Mercedes-powered Force India, is the front-runner for the seat.
"Unquestionably for me that would be the perfect scenario," 13-time grand prix winner Coulthard, also a Red Bull consultant and BBC commentator, told stv.tv.
"Not that I want to force Michael out of the sport but when he decides to retire, whether it is this year, next year or whenever, Paul has a good relationship with Mercedes."
Force India have desires to be a winning team in the future
Force India boss Vijay Mallya has said he is keen to hold on to di Resta, who retains strong links with Mercedes after winning the DTM title with the German giant last year.
"Of course, Force India have desires to be a winning team in the future but, realistically, he (di Resta) has got to make tough decisions and try and fast-track himself into the best car possible," said Coulthard.